support for the self-employed

The government has announced a new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme to support those who work for themselves. Data from 2018/19 indicated as many as 66,000 people in Dorset could be directly impacted by these measures. 

Last updated: 03 December 2020

Self Employment Income Support (SEISS) Grant Extension
The UK Government recognises the continued impact that coronavirus (COVID-19) has had on the self-employed and has taken action to provide support.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension provides critical support to the self-employed in the form of two grants, each available for three month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021.

Who can claim
To be eligible for the Grant Extension self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, must:

  • Have been previously eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme first and second grant (although they do not have to have claimed the previous grants)
  • Declare that they intend to continue to trade and either:
    • Are currently actively trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
    • Were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus

What the Grant Extension covers
The extension will last for six months, from November 2020 to April 2021. Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering a three-month period.

The first grant will cover a three-month period from 1 November 2020 until 31 January 2021. The Government will provide a taxable grant covering 55% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £5,160 in total.

The grant will be increased from the previously announced level of 40% of trading profits to 80% for November 2020. This therefore increases the total level of the grant from 40% to 55% of trading profits for 1 November 2020 to 31 January 2020.

The Government are providing broadly the same level of support for the self-employed as is being provided for employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in November due to its extension. And then the Job Support scheme in December and January.

The second grant will cover a three-month period from 1 February 2021 until 30 April 2021. The Government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.

The grants are taxable income and subject to National Insurance contributions.

How to claim
The online service for the next grant will be available from 30 November 2020. HMRC will provide full details about claiming and applications in guidance on GOV.UK in due course.

Further information is available on the SEISS Grant Extension webpage.

There is other support available if you’re not eligible for the grant. If you have other employment as a director or employee paid through PAYE your employer may be able to get support using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.


Free online coronavirus resource for self-employed
Chartered accountants and business advisors PKF Francis Clark have launched an online calculator to help the self-employed find out the help they can expect from the government’s Coronavirus Income Support Scheme.


The Prince’s Trust and NatWest Enterprise Relief Fund
The £5million Enterprise Relief Fund will offer grants to 18 to 30-year olds across the UK who are self-employed and/or running their own business. In conjunction with cash grants, the initiative will offer one-to-one support and guidance to anyone who needs it and who may be worried about their future.

Grants can be used to maintain core business operations during the crisis, as well as meet any existing financial commitments, such as paying for essential equipment or settling invoices from suppliers. Additionally, grants can also support you to diversify your business to respond to opportunities created by the crises.

If your business has been affected by Coronavirus but you are starting to open up again and need support to help you to do this, or perhaps to sustain your business through any ongoing reduced trading levels, this could be a great potential use of the grant.

Further information and application details are available here.